Posts Tagged Ethics


Coal miners , the world over, have very dangerous jobs.  Besides breathing toxic coal dust, day after day, and over long shifts, miners’ lives are also jeopardized by potential gas explosions and collapsing tunnels.  Government regulations also appear  to only loosely enforce overall workplace safety rules,  as encouraged by coal industry lobbyists.

According “…to an investigation by NPR and the Center for Public Integrity, federal regulators and the mining industry are failing to protect miners from the excessive toxic coal mine dust, which has toxic effects on miners’ health.   That deadly “Black Lung” Disease is now being diagnosed in younger miners, and evolving more quickly into complicated stages.”

Given the irreversible effects of Black Lung,  why don’t the men (and some women) in the region just change careers?   There are other, safer jobs, such as in carpentry, auto repair, welding, etc.  And why aren’t the younger generations, aware of the dirty, hard work, and the dangerous conditions, discouraged from following their fathers and other relatives down into the mines?  Unfortunately, in many of the small towns, especallly in Appalachia, the mines are the economic lifeblood of the area!

When Donald Trump campaigned in Kentucky, West Virginia, and other regions in “Coal Country”, he promised to bring the jobs back.  But, are these the jobs that a rational person should want—for their husbands, their sons, their brothers, uncles, etc?  Didn’t they also hear Trump say that he would eliminate regulations so that business could prosper?  Don’t the miners realize that those regulations were intended to protect them?

Consider just two of the people who he has nominated for his Cabinet.  Wilbur Ross, a billionaire neighbor of Trump in Palm Beach, is his Commerce Secretary.  Mr. Ross amassed his fortune buying distressed businesses, laying-off workers, busting-up unions and reneging on pensions.  An article from the Miami Herald, describes Mr. Ross’ history with the Sago Mine Number One catastrophe.

Elaine Chao, Trump’s nominee for Transportation Secretary, had been George W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor.  Ken Ward, Jr, a columnist with the Charleston Gazette, reported in his “Coal Tattoo” Blog, that Ms. Chao, when she was Secretary of Labor, “ …encouraged regulators to regulate less, and she cooperated more with a highly hazardous industry, with a history of death and disaster.”

The combination of pledging support for jobs, de-regulating industry and—let’s not forget his pledge not to raise the Minimum Wage—surely doesn’t require a genius to figure out who’s going to win, between businesses and labor!  In a situation where the coal industry has deep pockets and labor unions have been virtually emasculated, is there any question as to how safe coal mining will be under {resident Trump?

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, in fact, any month can be a good one to get screened.  Consult your Physician as to the age at which it is good to get started, and have the Mammograms and other screens repeated, when appropriate, on a regular basis.  Speak with your Mother and, perhaps, her sisters to determine if there is any history of Breast or Ovarian Cancer in your Family.

I have linked a Post that I published on this Blog, back in May of 2013:  In it, there is a link to a wonderful NY Times Op-Ed that Angelina Jollie wrote.  She noted in that piece that she had both a Double Mastectomy and her Ovaries removed (in separate operations).  Her Mother had died of Breast Cancer at age 56, and Ms. Jollie had tested positive for both Cancers, with a high probability of developing one, or both.

Some Women put the tests off, because they believe that they would lose their Femininity, or their Husband or Significant Other wouldn’t find them attractive any more.  But, on the other hand, consider just how sexy you will be, when you are dead?

Like any form of bad news, whatever the problem, it might take a little while to accept it. Well, you don’t have any alternatives, do you?  But, once you get beyond the rejection period, if the test(s) is(are) positive, you will find that there are all kinds of support groups.  Breast or Ovarian Cancer doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the World.  There are many, many survivors.  Check with your doctor, hospital, Women you know or do an on-line search.

I recently met someone I know, who had been diagnosed with an advanced stage of Lung Cancer, about four months ago.  Yes, a different form of Cancer; but, the bald heads on beautiful Women all look great, don’t they?  When I saw her, her hair was maybe one-third of an inch long. She said that she had thought of wearing a wig; but, she realized that she really didn’t want to hide it.  She had a great outlook.  That was who she was!

If she were a Black Woman, rather than White, it would have just looked like a common style that I have seen a number of times on African-American Women.  I told her that she looked great and that her Inner Beauty was just radiating through.  I also reminded her of the tall, bald super-model from Africa who was discovered some years ago, and several beautiful, bald female actresses in the TV series, “StarTrek-the Next Generation”.

It’s very important that Men encourage the Women in their Lives to get tested and, if there is a potential for Breast or Ovarian Cancer, to be very supportive, every step of the way.  In her Op-Ed, Ms. Jollie wrote that she truly appreciates the support and encouragement that her (now) Husband, Brad Pitt, gave her throughout the ordeal–and still does.  Remember that, whatever the relationship, you must be there for the Women in your life–pre-op, post-op and thereafter.  And be sure to tell them how great they look.  Remember:  they would do the same for you; because, Men CAN and DO get Breast Cancer!

And now, for something on the lighter side, check the “selfie” in this short video, from the Nestlé Fitness YouTube page with the hashtag “CheckYourSelfie.”:–promotes-breast-cancer-awareness-194524149.html.  This video serves as a great reminder that it all starts with your own self-examination.




The political pundits–on both sides–seem to have been talking about “BridgeGate” for months; however, it’s only been a week since it went viral.  You know the routine: someone had the bright idea to order a “traffic study” on an access road, in Ft. Lee, N. J., closing three of the four lanes onto the George Washington Bridge–which is the busiest bridge in the World.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has spent hours arguing that he knew nothing about the blockage, which caused gridlock in Ft. Lee for four days.  That tie-up also caused considerable delays to travelers from many other New Jersey communities, trying either to get to work or traveling for Interstate Commerce.

There many other questions that have yet to be addressed:

1.  This debacle blocked Inter-State Commerce, which is a major offense.  Also, since there are two ends to a bridge, was no one in New York in touch with their counterparts in New Jersey: Governor’s Offices; the respective State Police Heads; the NY-NJ Port Authority, which controls the GWB; the two Mayors; etc?  No one?

2.  Governor Christie immediately fired several top aides and others resigned.  Did he find-out how, and why?  Remember that he is a former Federal Attorney.

3.  The list of New Jersey Mayors who claim that their cities have potentially been effected negatively by the Christie Administration has grown.  Will others come forward?

4.  One or more Mayors of New Jersey cities have been contacted by Federal Officials regarding their claims that relief funds were either denied or delayed after Hurricane Sandy.  It is unclear as to whether those incidents referred to State or Federal funds.  Separately, there have been claims that many New Jersey Business and Home Owners still haven’t received relief aid, from the September 2012 “Super-Storm”.

5.  Federal Agents are also investigating claims that Governor Christie’s Re-Election Campaign diverted Federal Sandy Relief Aid to his Campaign, one which he was expected to win by a l;andslide–which, in fact, was the Election result.

Now all of this, at least so far, may be considered circumstantial; but, it sure is mounting up.  The New Jersey Senate and Assembly have each formed investigatory panels and, no doubt, the U. S. Congress will, as well.  Some 20 subpoenas were reportedly issued in New Jersey.

So, if you long for more Oprah interviews with Lance Armstrong, GOP testimonials about repealing Obamacare, or some other such nonsense, you’ll have to wait.  For now, Chris Christie will remain the Late Night Jab du Jour.

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